Syllabus: iTunes and the Technology Beyond MP3

“What’s the difference between MP3-encoded sound and AAC-encoded sound? AAC became part of the MPEG-2 standard in 1997 to provide efficient encoding for surround sound audio. It supports up to 5.1 channels (Left, Center, Right, Left and Right Surround, plus a low frequency channel). Its quality at 64Kbps is comparable to MP3 at 128Kbps. MPEG-2 AAC is a continuation of the MP3 coding scheme. Like MP3, AAC exploits the psychoacoustic properties of human hearing, using sound-masking techniques to achieve efficient compression with very little noticeable degradation in audio quality. Finally, it provides a compression advantage of about 1.3 to 1.4 that of MP3 with better sound quality.”

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